In mid-1966, Lincoln-Mercury public relations chief Monty Roberts managed to win approval for a Cougar Trans-Am campaign in 1967, to be headed by Fran Hernandez, a fabled dry-lakes engine builder from Los Angeles who had risen through Ford's ranks to become competition director at Lincoln-Mercury. The logical choice as head fabricator and mechanic was Walter 'Bud' Moore, a fabled NASCAR team owner who operated Bud Moore Engineering in Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Also on hand were the team's primary drivers, Dan Gurney and Parnelli Jones. At Moore's shop, Mercury's biggest race was already under way: To prepare three SCCA-legal Trans Am cars in time for the 300-mile season opener at Daytona International Speedway's road course on February 3. The second and third cars started out as off-the-line production sedans intended to be built with the 390 GT package; big-block Cougars had beefier front-end components, such as control arms, that would be beneficial in Trans-Am racing, even though the series' maximum displacement limit was 305 cubic inches.
All three cars were raced during the 1967 season. While two Cougars were entered in every Trans-Am event, all three cars were entered at Sebring and reportedly at the Marlboro 300 in Maryland. As for David's car, its season record first saw Ed Leslie, another Moore team driver, finish fifth overall at Sebring's four-hour Trans-Am round after both Jones and Gurney fell out.
At Marlboro, engine problems prevented the prototype from qualifying. It next showed up at Crow's Landing in Modesto, California, a former Navy air base, where Leslie started and finished sixth. Renumbered 15, it then showed up for Round 10 at Riverside International Raceway, where NASCAR star David Pearson would drive it to its only Trans-Am win after starting from the outside pole. At the penultimate event at Stardust International Raceway in Las Vegas, a youthful Peter Revson, the future international star who also started several races for Moore that year, was gridded seventh in David's car but was DNFed in 19th.
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This car has been used in 4 sessions.